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Architecture: SunBloc house wins 2012 RIBA award in the UK.

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  • havewala
    Architecture: SunBloc house wins 2012 RIBA award in the UK. A net-zero house project called SunBloc has won the 2012 RIBA President Medals Student Awards, a
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 12, 2012
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      Architecture: SunBloc house wins 2012 RIBA award in the UK.

      A net-zero house project called SunBloc has won the 2012 RIBA
      President Medals Student Awards, a prestigious architectural
      competition that takes place annually in the UK. Devised by students
      from the London Metropolitan University, SunBloc is tailored for the
      Solar Decathlon Competition, but the students say it can be adapted to
      other contexts.

      The building employs a composite construction system comprised mainly
      of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam blocks and steel cables. The
      materials are fairly inexpensive and the house does not require
      skilled workers to assemble it – a small group of people can get the
      job done.

      In order to make the blocks, which were developed in conjunction with
      structural engineering firm AKT, the students used a handheld hotwire
      foam cutter and laser cut templates, which also serve as joints
      between blocks for air tightness. After positioning, the whole
      structure is post-tensioned, a process whereby a wall is "squeezed"
      using threaded steel rods. The SunBloc team says the EPS foam blocks
      can be easily put on a lift by two people, as the material weighs less
      than 100 kg (220 lbs) per square meter (10.7 square feet).

      Due to the material's lightness, inertia against temperature
      fluctuations (technically known as thermal mass) is provided by an
      internal finish of clay with embedded phase change wax granules –
      these store heat when the ambient temperature is high, then release it
      when the temperature drops. Corner windows and high-level openings let
      in adequate daylight, plus the solar exposure could be maximized with
      a south-facing porch. An acrylic-based coating is used to treat the
      exterior.

      Besides the solar photovoltaic panels that cover the roof, there are
      also plans to boost the project’s sustainability in terms of building
      materials as well, replacing EPS as the main component with BioFoam
      produced from industrial waste streams. The facade can also become a
      living wall.

      Source: RIBA

      To read the article and see the images, :

      http://www.gizmag.com/sustainable-architectural-project-wins-riba-2012/25379/
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